TURIN -- New-car sales have plunged in Europe as the coronavirus wreaks havoc with demand and governments likely will have to offer big incentives to boost demand when normality resumes. The pandemic is also causing supply chain disruption that will likely affect European automaker's plans to roll out electrified models that they need to hit tough EU CO2 reduction targets.
Michele Crisci, chairman of UNRAE, the association of foreign automakers operating in Italy, discussed this and more with Automotive News Europe associate publisher and editor Luca Ciferri.
Why do think the EU should reassess its CO2 targets for this year?
A significant part of the components needed for electrified cars come from China. It is not clear yet how long this supply chain will take to resume its normal production flow. Automakers made plans to be compliant with these new, stricter CO2 targets, effective this year. But what about if we miss crucial components from China that are needed to build electrified cars?
What is a possible solution?
Move the 2020 CO2 targets to 2021. Due to the coronavirus, 2020 is going to be a very delicate and complicated year for automakers. Adding huge fines on an industry already under enormous pressure on the cost and margin sides would not help.
Do you see the need for a new round of scrappage incentives, like the ones put in place in 2008 to boost demand after the global financial crisis?
Demand needs a boost and incentives could help, as they did after the global financial crisis. Looking at Italy, we said to the government that we understand that boosting car demand is not a top priority these days, but we are at their disposal to offer ideas when they have time listen to us. Current incentives are offered for vehicles below 60 g/km. I think that everything below the 2020 European threshold of 95 g/km should receive some form of help.